Republicans hope to use study to withdraw abortion pill

April 1, 2006

Two Republicans?Maryland Rep. Roscoe Bartlett and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint?are hoping that a report in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy will help spur support for companion bills that would require the withdrawal of Mifeprex, RU-486, from the market. Both bills would also require an investigation of the FDA's decision to approve the abortion drug.

Two Republicans-Maryland Rep. Roscoe Bartlett and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint-are hoping that a report in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy will help spur support for companion bills that would require the withdrawal of Mifeprex, RU-486, from the market. Both bills would also require an investigation of the FDA's decision to approve the abortion drug.

The December 2005 Annals report found that Mifeprex (mifepristone) caused 607 adverse events, including at least five deaths. Since the study ended in September 2004, a spokesperson for Bartlett noted that an additional 250 adverse events, including three deaths, have been reported. The adverse events include septic shock, severe bleeding, infection, unsuccessful termination of pregnancy, and fetal malformations.

"Today, we present stronger evidence that RU-486 kills and injures women," Bartlett told Drug Industry Daily Online (2/6/2006). "It is unacceptable for the FDA to expose women to the risk of serious injury, especially deadly infections whose symptoms are similar to any RU-486 abortion when we have documented cases of medical professionals who have failed to diagnose them."